By Richard Ivory
The year was 1990 and “change” had come to the southern State of Virginia , a place steeped in a history of racial divisions. It had come in the form of a charismatic young black lawyer named Lawrence Douglas Wilder. I was a child at the time, but nevertheless understood the importance of the racial barrier that had just been broken. There was a deep sense of pride and amazement within the entire black community. Similarly as I saw President Obama speak at his historic inaugural, those feelings of overwhelming pride and joy came back to me.
Martin Luther King when speaking of change said, “it does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle”. The President correctly outlined the many struggles we as a nation face. He hinted to our economic woes and our problems internationally. He spoke of our shared destiny and wanting to protect Liberty for our children. He spoke of our nations great immigrant past and present diversity and how despite our past problems we always manage to do great things. He used language geared to bring unity over partisanship and practicality over dogma. In his speech it seemed to me as if he were saying that if change is to come, it must first come from the people.
Despite being Republican, I concede that many of the things mentioned in his speech were right and it is indeed a wonderful vision of where the new President wants to take this nation. The problem of course is whether or not the nation is ready to take such a journey. The French explorer Alexis de Tocqueville once observed that America ’s greatness lie not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. If we are to change as a nation, then we must come together and seek ways to begin to fix many of our nations ailing problems.
Real change is only as good as it is going in the right direction. Real change will mean fixing the crisis in Social Security; a system that in only a few years time will began to pay more out in benefits than it actually collects in revenues. Real Change will mean finding consumer driven alternatives to health care not simply letting a federal bureaucracy run it. Real Change also means continuing the reforms of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act and seeking ways to fix the system while empowering its recipients. Real Change will mean providing real and effective Immigration Reform that respects the dignity of undocumented workers while providing security at our boarders.
And finally but not least change means confronting the failures in our educational systems. The school systems that Obama spoke of in his speech that fail our children should not be given annual bailouts for failing our kids but reform mechanism to show that they are learning and thriving. While seemingly insurmountable these things are not impossible the responsibility of all of us is to leave this nation better than we found it. Despite the ideological differences I have with the new President- and they are many- I wish him much success. In other words, I would love to be “wrong” about you Mr. President.
Good luck President Obama!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Change has come to America…For Now!
Posted by Blog Moderator at Thursday, January 22, 2009